The School seeks to support all strands of wellbeing in the workplace by recognising mental and emotional wellbeing can underpin much of a person’s sense of wellness and developing a School environment that understands we all have mental health that will fluctuate over time, just as we all have physical health, is at the heart of work to this end.
Improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of staff at our School, by continually seeking opportunities to offer support whever possible is a key wellbeing priority.
As part of work to this aim an investment has been made to train a network of Mental Health First Aiders across the School.
With dedicated Mental Health First Aid Instructors who understand LSE culture and the demands of Higher Education this has and is continuting to be a collaborative effort by all involved.
Our School now has over 200 mental health first aiders across the School and are working to increase these numbers and ensure key roles from around the School are trained to identify and support staff dealing with mental health issues.
The Mental Health First Aiders Network is crucial to providing effective mental and emotional wellbeing support across the School. Our Mental Health First Aid Training is sponsored and run by MHFA England, a training and campaigning organisation dedicated to transforming workplace mental health through a range of evidence-based training courses.
The role of a Mental Health First Aider is to understand the important factors that can affect mental health, and to identify the signs and symptoms for a range of mental health conditions. This may include:
- Using Mental Health First Aid to support someone experiencing a mental health issue or crisis
- Listening non-judgementally and holding supportive conversations
- Signposting colleagues to professional help, recognising that the role of a Mental Health First Aider does not replace the need for ongoing support
It’s important to remember that Mental Health First Aiders are not therapists or counsellors and are not there to diagnose mental health conditions or provide ongoing support. Instead, Mental Health First Aiders act as a point of contact and reassurance for someone who may be experiencing emotional distress or a mental health issue and offer supportive signposting to connect people with the help needed.
Eleni Michael is an HR Consultant for Employee Engagement and Wellbeing at LSE and has a background in psychology and organisational psychology, along with19 years Higher Education Human Resources experience: 12 of which at LSE with a focus on wellbeing and mental health in more recent years.
Eleni has trained with The Samaritans as a volunteer telephone counsellor and became a Mental Health First Aid instructor in 2019 as part of LSE’s commitment to mental health for staff (and students) in our LSE community. She delivers in-house MHFA training at for staff and managers along with other mental health and wellbeing training with colleagues from the Staff Counselling team for staff and managers throughout the year.
I started out in student welfare at a music conservatoire having worked in marketing for a brief stint - marketing definitely was not for me! After a few years supporting students around issues such as immigration, accommodation and finances, I realized I was growing increasingly interested in what was going on for them beneath the surface, and this led me to train in psychotherapy and counselling, which is how I ended up in this profession. I managed the Student Advice & Counselling Service at LSHTM for over ten years before joining LSE in 2019. More recently I’ve been focussing more on the freelance training side of my work, including MHFA training which is something I really enjoy delivering within LSE and beyond. In my spare time I like making stuff, DIY, exploring different corners of London / the world, and music.
Victoria Frost is the Head of Residential Life at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to taking up this role, she was the Head of Residence Life and Student Development at the University of Essex. Victoria started her work in residence life when she was an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Victoria earned her Master's degree in Educational Leadership with a specialisation in Higher Education Administration from Lynn University in Florida. She has been working with students and staff around mental health issues for over fourteen years. Victoria trained as a Mental Health First Aid instructor in 2015 and since then has delivered over thirty training sessions to over three hundred members of staff.
I’ve been qualified as a mental health nurse for 24 years now.
I’ve worked in an inpatient unit and community mental health team in East London and as deputy manager and manager in a community mental health team in Westminster. I’ve also worked as a dual diagnosis worker working with people coping with both mental illness and drug/alcohol issues.
I’ve been at LSE for over 9 years and in my current role as Senior Mental Health Adviser for 2 years. It is exciting to see the investment LSE is making in both staff and student mental health and wellbeing in terms of additional resources and training. MHFA is one part of this and is an intense but rewarding course and I have seen its impact in terms of people’s awareness and understanding of both their own and others’ issues.
Rebekah’s roots are in Mental Health Nursing and Counselling. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in Clinical Psychology. She has worked in many settings, ranging from in-patient acute assessment wards, counselling services, eating disorder treatments centres and drug rehabilitation. She was previously also a Mental-Health Adviser at Christ Church University in Canterbury and has been a Mental Health Adviser at LSE for 2.5 years.
The School's Mental Health Champions support the work of the First Aiders Network and Instructors by acting as local champions for how we all think and act about mental health.
You can find out more about the Mental Health Champions here.